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Suicide and percentages of diagnosed and undiagnosed Autism in the uk

Felt the need to join that Disqus app so I could reply to this article. Seems my reply has to be reviewed by University of Cambridge before it can be shared. Thought I'd post it here:

Premature death isn't just about suicide and epilepsy. The stress, anxiety and depression of living with autism and feeling like you don't fit in will also take many years off your life. I've lived with chronic aches, pains and symptoms due to stress since 2012. I've waited over a year for an autism assessment via the NHS. My brother has waited over 2 years. I ended up going private for my ADHD assessment because I was fed up with waiting. But I'm not dropping over £1000 to pay for an autism assessment.

Besides, much like ADHD - I read, researched and quickly realised I had the aforementioned conditions. Initially reading about them was like reading my autobiography. Finally I had names for why I am the way that I am. Whilst it provided closure, in terms of my day to day life - it changed very little. I refuse to live on prescriptions, and I'm not looking for any form of handouts or benefits.

I never got on with the 5 medications I tried, and my 2 decades with anxiety and depression are much like the ADHD and 'tism - you adapt and you get on with life as best you can. I'm blessed that I am finally quitting the rat race after 18 insufferable years, and going full time with my art and photography.

The main benefit I found was through reading books, researching the conditions and sharing (or oversharing) on an Autism Forum. The people I've spoken to for 2 years on said forum are some of the most heartfelt, interesting and talented people I've ever met. Yet many of us are stuck in menial jobs, suffering with chronic pains born of stress, or struggling with substance abuse and other behavioural issues. Then there's the daily emotional fluctuations, and frequent run in's with stigma and trauma, because we don't fit in with societies expectations. That is just some of the reasons why we die so much earlier. We are a puzzle piece from another jigsaw, and we're trying to force ourselves to fit into a world catered to NT's.

As for suicide - I've been plagued by suicidal ideation for most of my adult life. Thankfully I'm not brave enough to act on it. But I suppose other self-destructive behaviours I have will eventually take their toll and cash me out early.

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